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Wonder Woman

Whether she kicks butt on Marvel’s Daredevil or as an offscreen philanthropist, Rosario Dawson fights the good fight.

ACTION PACKED
Rosario Dawson’s new show, "Marvel’s Daredevil," premieres April 10 on Netflix.

It takes a special kind of girl to have a relationship with a superhero—especially if he is a blind vigilante she saves after finding him wounded. Fortunately for the namesake star of Marvel’s Daredevil, the highly anticipated Marvel/Netflix collaboration that debuts this month, emergency room nurse Claire Temple is no ordinary girl. Neither is bicoastal actress Rosario Dawson, who portrays the character. “I really liked how modern she was,” says Dawson. “She’s not a scaredy-cat. She’s just very New York and her own person. She’s seen it all.” But Dawson, who is no stranger to onscreen action adventures, appreciated that there was more to Claire than courage. “She’s the kind of person you’d want to have in an emergency around you, but she’s vulnerable. She’s fallible. She’s not a superhero, but she’s got heroic instincts.” If you had just dropped in on this part of the conversation, sans context, it would be easy to think Dawson is describing herself. The outspoken and socially and politically active 35-year-old raised in New York’s Lower East Side is not unlike the character: smart, quick-witted and ultimately very human. In her own life, Dawson advocates for the ability to vote via her nonprofit, Voto Latino, which is perhaps why she relates to comic book characters who fight evil in the shadows. “These different archetypes and heroes remind us of different issues that we have in our own lives and the options that we have,” says Dawson. “We all have an opportunity to be a hero in someone’s story. Do you go and join that march? Or do you sit at home idly and complain about it?” These days Dawson’s philanthropic focus is on Studio One Eighty Nine, which curates fashion products and supports the local artisans who made them in countries such as Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana, which she visited last year. For the actress, sitting back and letting change take its own course is simply not an option. “I couldn’t passively read about people who are showing up and sacrificing their own good for the greater good and then just go back to my own life,” she says. “You roll up your sleeves and think: How can I help you?” Spoken like a true superhero.

Dawson’s Hots
Giving away flowers for no reason, buying journals (because I’m always hoping that I’ll actually take the time to write in them), dancing by myself at night

Dawson’s Nots
That people don’t see how much of life is a choice, being lactose-intolerant (because I really, really love cheese), people judging me for still having Christmas up in my house